Making gems without crystal resin
Are you on a budget? Do you lack the patience to wait up to 2 whole days for a gem? Do you really hate dealing with mixing substances and home chemistry experiments? Then Worbla is the answer! Crystal resin produces beautiful results but learning how to make gems exactly as you want them, can be rather time consuming, frustrating and very messy.
I was looking for a way to skip all that trouble so bought some Worbla's Crystal Art and tested it
I wanted to make a gem for my Legion Commander helmet. I made the pattern, cut it out and crafted the basic body out of Worbla's Black Art. I bought a clear plastic christmas ornament to help with the basic shape of both the shell and the gem.
Time for the gem! Crystal Art is just small pieces of clear plastic. If you're going to use the heat gun (instead of hot water) to warm them up, you better put them in a small container, or cover them around, unless you want them to fly away all at once! You just heat it up and mould it, making sure there isn't any dirt or air bubbles in there. It almost works as dough. I was using one of my paintbrushes as a rolling pin.
Then I added the colour. I wanted it to be opaque so I used acrylic paint. I added just a small amount, and I warmed it up and folded it over and over, until it was a solid red colour. Now, I had to give it a very specific shape, without creases or fingerprints showing. I used the christmas ornament as a mould and let the worbla piece cool down a bit. After about a minute, it was still a bit soft but not mouldable. I could remove it from the mould without ruining its shape, and stick it under the shell.
If you colour it with acrylic paint it loses its clarity and unfortunately I didn't have any other type of paint to test. So I looked for other ways to make clear gems. The first picture shows an unpainted gem, the second one is the same gem, painted underneath with yellow acrylic. The third one is a clear gem, lined with a (painted red) aluminium sheet. The last one is a clear gem, painted underneath with nail polish. Slap some varnish on them and they'll look as good as the resin gems.
Now onward to bigger gems!!